It’s been eight years since his passing, but Anthony Burger’s legacy continues to inspire. While his musical diversity provided the foundation for a unique sound and performance style, it was his passion that distinguished him — the joy and zeal he emanated was contagious and fans were endeared to him as a personality as well as a player.
Those fans first discovered the talent of Anthony Burger when the prodigy joined the popular Kingsmen Quartet at the age of 16. After 15 years he left the group to pursue his career as a solo pianist. He balanced his solo dates with the Gaither Homecoming Tour — which he joined in 1993 — until his untimely passing in 2006.
Anthony is spotlighted by a new collection in the Icon series (from Gaither Music) which beautifully displays all of the components that made him a unique player in the world of gospel music. “He could play so many styles of music,” says fellow keyboard master and Homecoming Friend, Gordon Mote. “Whatever he did, he put his watermark on it and I think that’s what made him so special. He was a great communicator.”
Featured in the collection are favorites including Mosie Lister’s “Goodbye, World, Goodbye” and the “Just a Little While Medley,” showcasing Anthony’s love for these staples in the gospel music catalog. Mote remembers, “Anthony had an appreciation for who came before us. It’s one of the reasons he was so successful.”
Anthony’s love of hymns is highlighted with his “Great Is Thy Faithfulness Medley” — incorporating Stuart Hamblen’s classics “How Big is God,” “How Great Thou Art” and “It Is Well With My Soul.”
“I love these new praise choruses,” he once said in live performance, “but I love the old hymns of the church. The old songs are the ones that lasted and made it through the years.” Also included are modern standards such as “We Shall Behold Him,” “I’ve Just Seen Jesus” and “He Touched Me.”
Burger’s interpretation of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” brings his classical training to the table, showing the clear bridge between the worlds that his influences brought together. “He played that for 18,000 people a night and they just loved it!” Mote exclaims. “I’m grateful that he left such an incredible legacy for those of us continuing to do what he did. His music and legacy live on as long as we are here on earth.”